Friday, December 29, 2006

Tucson to Sidewinder

This was what we saw when we awoke Friday morning: snow! It looks like the snow level was several hundred feet above our campground, but it was very chilly. We got moving quickly and hit the road for Sidewinder and the sunshine around 9:30 am.

Rather than just fill our diesel tank at the truck stop, we did a necessary and interesting exercise today.

Our new sofa weighs considerably more than our old one, and I have wondered if that might be a problem for us. All motorhomes have "weight ratings", and woe to the owner who exceeds the weight rating for their vehicle. For Scoopy, the maximum safe weight is 31,000 pounds - yes, that is over 15 TONS!

Unloaded, Scoopy weighs 25,000 pounds, which includes all the factory-installed furniture and appliances. To that, we add any "aftermarket" items (like the refrigerator/freezer in the basement), 800 pounds for fresh water (when the tank is full, like it is now), the weight of our propane and diesel fuel, several hundred pounds for the two of us (and 13 pounds for Luna)... and all the wine, food, dishes, pans, clothing, books, linens, kitty litter, shoes, etc. etc. that we carry. The 6,000 pound difference between the empty weight and the maximum weight can be used up rather easily.

Because I was feeling nervous about our weight, after we filled the 100 gallon diesel tank today, we pulled onto the big Cat scale. You might have noticed these before at "travel plazas" when you are driving on the freeway. It consists of four independent "pads", and a big rig pulls onto it in such a way that each axle is on a separate pad. The weights are recorded, and you pay $8.50 for a certificate showing the weight of each axle and the total weight.

For us, the front axle is rated to carry 12,000 pounds, the back to carry 19, 000 pounds, for a safe total weight of 31,000 pounds. On the scale, we showed the front axel as 10,860 - to which we added another 200 pounds for Odel; Laurie was in the driver's seat for the weigh-in - for a total of 11,060 on the front axle: 940 pounds to spare. The rear axle weight was only 40 pounds under the allowable weight - but even 1 pound under is sufficient. We were thrilled, as neither of us can imagine EVER carrying more "stuff" than we are at the moment.

We rolled on toward Sidewinder feeling relieved, and are now settled in, ready to make a dent in our prodigious food stores and get those weights even lower!

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